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HealthInfo Canterbury

Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI)

It is devastating for a family when a baby dies. Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) describes when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly during sleep. Many SUDI deaths happen because of a fatal sleep accident. Often, the cause of death is unknown and is called SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). There are things you can do to reduce the risk of SUDI. For information on how to do this, see Safe sleeping for babies.

If a baby has died suddenly and unexpectedly, several people will look into what has happened, including the coroner and SUDI liaison team. This includes performing a post mortem, carefully reviewing the clinical history and looking into the circumstances of death, and visiting the location where the baby died.

Support from others can help you and your family get through this very difficult time. The organisations listed below can help with information and support for parents, grandparents, friends, and whānau.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2019.

For information about reducing the risk of a baby suddenly dying, see:

Safe sleeping for babies

Page reference: 130754

Review key: HIUCB-33560